Nacogdoches upgrades parks with new playground features

Nacogdoches upgrades parks with new playground features
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 1:49 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The City of Nacogdoches has plans to improve public venues and bring more people together in 2022. Director of Community Services Brian Bray explained that there will be a focus on making upgrades to gathering places like downtown and the local parks to better serve citizens.

“We always want to improve,” Bray said. “A car that was built in 1950 is still functional today, but is it the best product for you? That’s the same way we kind of look at it with our playgrounds. We have some older playgrounds that are functional, but they are not up to date.”

Upcoming projects include general upgrades like the installation of five all-new restrooms across the parks, overhauling the electrical system in the downtown center to accommodate vendors, and painting and surfacing for pickleball at Bonita Creek Park. Another main focus will be playground upgrades at Ritchie Street, which currently has plans for an all-mobilities-inclusive play structure design. Bray said the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee recently met with the Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities and the playground designer.

“The playground designer came in and said these are the types of things that we’ve seen that are successful in communities like Nacogdoches,” Bray said. “Then they presented them to that combined kind of group. They got feedback, and now they are in the process of putting something together, so we can have a physical map to look at.”

The early design features include more easily accessible slides for those with physical disabilities and more parent-friendly swings for watching over children at play. Bray said that there are also quarterly events planned to introduce the public to the parks that have been updated. Additional improvements for the new year involve the creation of more dance and art classes at the rec center, and they are also on track to finish the ongoing Zion Hill Baptist Church upgrades in the summer.

“The citizens of Nacogdoches deserve a better product, and luckily, over the last couple of years, we have had councils that have understood that,” Bray said. “They have heard the requests from groups like the Parks Advocacy League and are funding improvements in our parks.”

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